Chirac wants immediate ceasefire in Lebanon

28th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 28, 2006 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac said Friday that he wanted the adoption of a UN resolution "as quickly as possible" calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East.

PARIS, July 28, 2006 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac said Friday that he wanted the adoption of a UN resolution "as quickly as possible" calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East.

"The president of the Republic wants France to work towards the adoption of a Security Council resolution as quickly as possible stating the commitment of the international community to an immediate ceasefire based on a political agreement supported by the deployment of an international force under UN mandate," said a statement from Chirac's office.

On Friday, Chirac convened a mini cabinet meeting to discuss the Israel-Lebanon crisis attended by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

The statement said that Chirac had underlined "the urgency of humanitarian corridors on land and at sea to ensure that aid gets rapidly and safely to the civilian population".

Documents obtained from the French foreign ministry on Thursday showed that France has presented a three-pronged strategy to its UN Security Council partners to end the Middle East conflict, which has claimed the lives of an estimated 426 people in Lebanon.

The French plan calls for an immediate ceasefire, then a transitory period of 10-15 days during which time prisoners could be exchanged, followed by a political framework to end the conflict opening the way to the deployment of an international force.

It includes an idea to create a buffer zone along the Israeli-Lebanese border. The zone would comprise one part in Lebanon, overseen by international forces and the Lebanese army, and another part in Israel from which the Israeli army would withdraw heavy weapons.

Earlier Friday, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair had said that Britain wanted a resolution early next week, adding that France and Germany were "roughly in the same ballpark."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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